Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All the news that's fit to print

Current book: The Fountainhead
Pages read: 525 - 620

Well, Wynand is basically being redeemed by Dominique through their marriage and his recognition of her high ideals. As a result, he decides to build a house for her and gets Roark to design it, without letting Dominique know. When Wynand tells her his plans, she is both delighted and shocked, and, seeing Roark again, is reminded of why she loves him. As the house progresses, Roark and Wynand become good friends, despite the fact that Wynand's paper tried to destroy Roark. Wynand soon becomes a man of principle, and begins to change the content of his previously pandering and sensationalist paper. He forces the editorial staff to write articles supportive of Roark, as well. There's a movement against him within the ranks, and it looks like it'll come to a head at any moment.

Keating, who's been almost completely destroyed by the loss of Dominique and his own lack of talent, comes to Roark and begs him to design a new set of public housing projects for him. Roark agrees, but only on the principle that he's doing it so that the buildings will be right, and because it will benefit him to do so. Keating finally understands that Roark's way of doing things is the "right" way, and that he's made a mess of his life by acting always for others.

The message comes off so much better in this book than Atlas Shrugged. The individualist take works really well for art. It still doesn't necessarily work for me economically, but the idea of standing on your own principles when you lead your life is one I can relate to. (I've tried to do it myself, actually, but it mostly seems to result in quitting jobs that I can't stand because they go against my nature and character. It doesn't seem quite as noble in those circumstances.) Anyway, point being, despite my prejudices, Rand is making her points fairly convincingly in this book. I still refuse to extrapolate them to their political and economic extremes, but that doesn't mean they're without merit. Let's see how it turns out.

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